For every enjoyable new thing in Madden NFL 22, there's something else that's equally as frustrating. The real saving grace that makes the game a solid experience is the upgraded gameplay and graphics for next-gen. If you like Madden, you'll have fun, even if you get annoyed from time to time, but the franchise still has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with the other sports games on the market.
Disney Infinity 3.0 is a special and awesome achievement in video games. This game, like its physical component that brings your favorite characters into the digital world, is a portal that lets you become a part of Disney's incredible multi-faceted family. I legitimately cannot wait to see what they come up with next, but in the meantime I feel like I have years of entertainment to enjoy here already.
Overall, Batman: Arkham Knight saw the series' regular features perfected, with a solid story, and a hit-or-miss new component. While the story itself didn't surprise as often as I (or like Rocksteady) would've hoped, it did surprise me in the range of emotions I felt because of it. I certainly look forward to the (non-Batmobile) DLC, and whatever Rocksteady comes up with next, and the future of the DC Universe in high-end games like this. A must-play for Batman fans, a great action-adventure game for all, and a satisfying (if slightly predictable) conclusion to an outstanding series of games, Batman: Arkham Knight is a highly recommended buy.
Marvel Heroes 2015 is, now, an excellent game, and a great way for Marvel Fans to live in-universe (oh, they even explain the several hundred versions of the same character running around in the story). With enough character variety from all corners of the universe, easy ways to play with friends and strangers alike, and an ever-evolving backend that makes the game more fun each time, it's easy to recommend this free-to-play action-RPG for all comers.
Overall, it seems NetherRealm decoded how to both make a fighting game with a great story, and also keep players coming back for more. While the learning curve is steep, its intention – making the game fun and challenging for all comers – is clear; as long as you can get over the stigma of playing on "very easy" if you must, that is. With so many fun new characters to master, longtime fans of the franchise may surprise themselves with how little they use their classic "mains" for the first several hours they play outside storymode. For newcomers, this also puts them on relatively equal footing, making it advantageous for both. If you've enjoyed any past Mortal Kombat games, or came into this style of fighter via Injustice, you'll find plenty to like here.
Be that as it may, I've booted up Mario Tennis Aces every single night since I got it, and it always makes me lose track of time. Missing options aside, I can't deny that this is the most fun I've had playing a tennis game since I was a kid, and I can guarantee that you and your friends will get serious mileage out of it.
All said, Shining Resonance Refrain does scratch the neo-classic JRPG itch in more ways than one. The story and waifu side-quests are a little cringey, and things get very grindy, but if you're looking to pick this game up, then that's probably exactly what you were looking for. This is a colorful, 40-hour affair that will delight series fans and Otakus everywhere, but it's not for everyone. For the price, I think it's well-worth the gamble.
I'm not going to sugar-coat things and try to sell this as a game that everyone can enjoy, but Code of Princess EX does what it does very well. If the $40 price-tag is causing you to pump the brakes, and the gameplay footage you've seen doesn't appeal to you, then pump those brakes, dude! Wait for a sale if you want to, but do keep this on your radar. Whether playing solo, online, or locally with friends, you're guaranteed a bizarre and deceptively deep RPG beat 'em up that's more fun than it has any right to be.
The Sinking City provides top-tier gameplay in the psychological horror genre, and brilliantly blends beautiful surroundings with a terrifyingly haunting and mysterious presence. Horror fans, especially, will want to pick this up at their earliest convenience.
Super Mario Maker 2 overall is entirely worth your time if you enjoyed the first game or if you've ever had a favorite Mario game that stood out to you, especially since the game encompasses worlds that come from the original Super Mario Bros. experience to more modern versions. Other games in the past have attempted and failed to make enjoyable experiences out of player-driven content while placing the onus on the community, Super Mario Maker 2 is a prime example of what that strategy looks like when it works. Considering the thriving community the Nintendo Switch boasts, this feels like a game that's in no risk of running out of content for the foreseeable future.
While Sea of Solitude manages to be distinctive, it certainly isn't the only game to explore mental health in the past few years. And like many that attempt to tackle the topics and themes that come with this, Sea of Solitude struggles at times. When it gets things right, it's a touching experience with a lot to say, but too often what it has to say is drowned out by heavy-handed writing, poor line delivery, and unimaginative gameplay that juxtaposes a fantastical and metaphorical world.
The scope of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is impressive. The story is all about fan service, but its fun, enjoyable fan service. The game is fun solo, though multiplayer is ideal. The drop-in, drop-out multiplayer makes that a breeze, and the Switch's portability and connectivity make it easy to find opportunities to play. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is a grand, action-packed celebration of the Marvel Universe that fans won't want to miss out on.
If you've got a little bit of patience, and a lot of love for Stranger Things, it's hard to go wrong with this game. It'll bring that '80s game nostalgia you're hoping for while staying as true as possible to the hit Netflix series we all adore.
Kill la Kill The Game: IF held promise of being so much more to longtime fans of Honnouji Academy, but it falls short in almost every way. Its limited online play cripples the game's competitive chances, and casual gamers will be left confused by this title's story though enamored by its artwork. Dedicated fans will no doubt stick through the game if not for Satsuki fan service, but an overly complicated story mode will drag some away. If a visual feast is all you need, then Kill la Kill The Game: IF isn't the worst pick, but this certainly isn't a successor that will meet fans' expectations.
Despite its occasional frustrations, Ancestors is an invigorating and engaging survival game that'll hopefully be followed by more of the same. Each playthrough has the potential to be a bit different as you focus on different skills and spend more time in one biome compared to another, and thanks to the excitingly unsettling freedom it offers and its rewarding highs and lows, Ancestors is well worth the time investment.
Astral Chain is an ambitious game that gives players almost too many options. Whether you decide to stick to the captivating storyline or want to fill up your photo album with pictures of your Neuron co-workers or decide to clean up the streets of all that pesky Red Shift (that only you can see), you'll easily lose yourself in the beautiful world of the game. Astral Chain pushes the boundaries of what an action game can be, but it doesn't get so experimental that it loses sight of its goal -- which is to present an intriguing and layered story while giving players lots of horrifying monsters to kill.
Is Control Remedy's apex moment? No. Is it their best game yet? I don't think so, but I wouldn't scream at you if you thought it was. Control's story and world-building, its thematic cohesiveness is better than anything out of Remedy yet, which is saying a lot. Unfortunately, Control has some blemishes, most of which aren't very distracting, but when you couple it with some considerable performance issues it adds up and saps a little bit of that specialness.
Gears 5 is incredible from start to finish, and, playing on PC, it is easily one of the best ports to the platform. Despite the few hiccups with servers, I was able to play entirely on Ultra settings without issue, and that's on hardware that isn't exactly the latest and greatest. The visuals are beautiful, gameplay is fun and gory, the campaign is heartfelt with incredible performances from the cast, and it is just a wonderful experience from start to finish and beyond. This is a title fans of the series will not want to miss, and it is a shining example of how The Coalition has put their mark on the franchise.